Crime and Safety

Univ. of Idaho killer was ‘sloppy,’ left ‘mess’ of evidence, victim’s family says

The investigation into the brutal stabbing deaths of four University of Idaho students is slow and painstaking because the killer was “sloppy” and left a “mess” of evidence behind, according to the parents of a victim.

Steve and Kristi Goncalves, whose daughter Kaylee was one of the four students killed at an off-campus house on Nov. 13, said they’ve been told by police that examining the chaotic crime scene will take time.

“They’re telling us that there’s so much evidence that it’s going to take a lot of time to process it all,” Steve Goncalves told Fox News on Sunday.

“This wasn’t like a pinpoint crime. This person was sloppy.”

The grieving parents said that police have not been able to confirm whether they have DNA from the suspect, but that officials have set up a mobile unit at scene of the horrific crime in order to try and “expedite things.”

The killer “made a mess there, and they’re going to have to go through that point by point,” her father added.

A photograph of the four Idaho University victims.
Police still believe the attack was  targeted but could not divulge further information.

During a Sunday press conference, officials with the Moscow Police Department pleaded for patience as they enter their second week investigating the quadruple homicide.

Police still believe the attack was targeted but could not divulge further information.

“It was a complex and terrible crime and it will take some time to resolve,” Moscow Police Chief James Fry said.

Idaho police map of victims' final movements
Idaho police’s map of the victims’ final movements on Sunday morning.
City of Moscow Police Department/Facebook

“We believe they’re targeted because we take a totality of all the circumstances we’re looking at. Do we know any one person that was targeted?” Fry said.

“We’re not able to say at this point in time due to our investigation, but we still believe that.” 

Authorities believe the four students — Madison Mogen, Xana Kernodle, Ethan Chapin and Goncalves — were stabbed to death in the early hours of Nov. 13 while they slept. The three women were roommates and Chapin was in a relationship with Kernodle.

Two of the victims were on the second floor and the other two victims were on the third floor of the home. They were stabbed multiple times and some had defensive wounds, police said.

University of Idaho home of students who were stabbed to death
Other roommates and friends were home at the time of the brutal slaying, according to police.
James Keivom
Investigators gather evidence in the home
Police have asked the public to be patient as they investigate the quadruple homicide.
James Keivom

Two other roommates were home but have been ruled out as suspects. The 911 call came from one of the roommates but Fry refused to share who made the call.

The police chief also confirmed that other friends arrived at the home around the time the call was made.

Fry also said police believed numerous calls to a mysterious man from Goncalves and Mogen were not connected to the crime.

blood on the side of the home
State police and FBI officials are helping Moscow police investigate the murders.
James Keivom

The parents of Goncalves told Fox News Digital that they believed the person their daughter was calling, her ex-boyfriend Jack, was not involved in the crime.

“They’re wasting their time with Jack. Jack is just as distraught as we are. Jack is our family,” her mother Kristi Goncalves said.

Law enforcement has received over 600 tips in the last week and conducted 90 interviews, Fry said as authorities are still unsure where the killer, or killers, could be hiding.

“We are looking everywhere that the evidence will lead us. I can’t say if the person’s here, I can’t say what community the person’s in,” the chief said. “We’re utilizing every resource we can to make that location of the individual.”

Police originally insisted there was no threat to the community right after the grisly discovery — but backtracked days later and urged community members to be vigilant.

Investigators gather evidence
Police said they are also looking over state lines for the suspect or suspects.
James Keivom

Dozens of FBI agents are assigned to the case, as well as state police, to assist the Moscow Police Department.

No murder weapon had been located.

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